Show ContentsPolack History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

It was in the Scottish/English Borderlands that the Strathclyde-Briton people first used the ancient name Polack. It was a name for someone who lived at Pollok (Gaelic: Pollag), a large district on the south-western side of the city of Glasgow, home to Crookston Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was once held. The name of the town has Gaelic origins, from the word 'poll', meaning "pool" or "pit".

Early Origins of the Polack family

The surname Polack was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where the first occurrence of the name is Peter, son of Fulbert or Fulburt who was granted the lands of Upper Pollock by the High Steward, and who took the surname from the lands, making him the first Pollock. Peter gave the church of Pulloc and its pertinents to the monastery of Paisley, sometime between 1177 and 1199. Within that same period of time, he also confirmed the charter of his brother Helias of Perthic to the same house. Peter also possessed lands in Moray and circa 1175, he witnessed the charter by William the Lion granting Burgin to the Abbey of Kinlos. [1]

Circa 1230, Murial de Polloc, a daughter of Peter, gifted her land of Inuerorkel and all its pertinents for the benefit of the hospital erected beside the bridge of Spey for the reception of travelers. Continuing this pattern of generosity, Robert de Pollok granted to the monastery of Paisley, during the reign of Alexander II, alms of twelve pennies a year from the rents he earned from his lands. Other important Pollocks include John Pollok who was both steward of the Abbey of Arbroath and sheriff of Forfar. [1]

In England, Pook was a popular variant and in this case, the family was probably from Puckney Gill in the parish of Charlwood, County Surrey, so called from the Old English word "puca" (goblin) and "eg" (island). [2] The surname is first found in Sussex in 1332 as atte Pukenegh, and occurs also in County Surrey at about the same date. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century the name was largely confined to a small central area of central Sussex, around West Grinstead. The name was also occasionally used as a nickname 'the puk' from the complexion of hair or dress, a colour between russet and black. [3]

William Puch was documented in the year 1166, and appears to be the first of the name on record. William le Puk of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and John Pouk was recorded in County Somerset at the same time. [4]

Early History of the Polack family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Polack research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1234, 1272, 1590, 1603, 1827, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Polack History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Polack Spelling Variations

Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Polack has been spelled Pollock, Pollocke, Polk, Polke, Pollok, Pollick, Polloch, Pook, Pooke, Poock, Pogue, Poag, Poage, Poague, Poak and many more.

Early Notables of the Polack family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Polack Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Polack family to Ireland

Some of the Polack family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Polack migration to the United States +

The number of Strathclyde Clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Among them:

Polack Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Polack, who landed in Long Island in 1781 [5]
Polack Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Polack, who landed in America in 1811 [5]
  • Leopold Polack, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • Anton Polack, aged 30, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1893 [5]

Australia Polack migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Polack Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Polack, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • George Polack, aged 27, a watchmaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Pauline" [7]
  • Mr. David Polack who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Clara" on 19th March 1857, arriving in Western Australia, Australia [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Polack (post 1700) +

  • Joel Samuel Polack (1807-1882), English trader, and author of works on New Zealand, born in London

The Polack Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Audacter et strenue
Motto Translation: Boldly and earnestly.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PAULINE 1848. Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 11th February 2021 from on Facebook